Over 20 workers join SEIU Local 2 after challenging organizing drive
The twenty-five workers at the Burnaby Metrotower Office Complex, will be the third group of Dexterra workers to unionize with SEIU in the Lower Mainland.
A majority of the group voted in favour of unionizing after a long organizing drive, despite months of overt opposition and intimidation by site managers and supervisors.
“We started by talking about coming together, this was a process, now we want to work together for fairness for the workers,” said Emelrose Marbella after learning about the victory. Marbella has worked at the site for over 15 years.
The organizing at the office towers started in earnest after 90 janitors working for Dexterra at the neighbouring Metropolis Mall voted to unionize in July of last summer. Dexterra has since lost the cleaning contract at the mall to Best Service Pros, but the jobs of the members at the mall were protected through the contract change as a result of unionization.
Workers at the towers applied to by varied into an already existing Dexterra collective agreement, along with workers at Capilano Mall in North Vancouver, a site that unionized last year and where workers negotiated and ratified a contract in November with significant workplace improvements.
With soaring inflation, an ongoing public health and housing crisis, janitors are asserting their power with the large corporations they work for. Dexterra Group is a multi-national property services contractor. The Metrotower Office Complex is over 600,000 square feet of commercial office space. The Complex is managed by Colliers International, a multi-billion-dollar real-estate investment firm.